Stargazing at the Largest Meteorite

By: Petr Horálek


Grootfontein, Namibia

2015 September 17


From the photographer: "In the Namibian northern region Onjozondjupa, there is so much to see. But probably the most tempting is the largest found iron meteorite in the world. The Hoba West meteorite, as it s named after the close farm, is one of the most astronomical sightseeing in Namibia and logically belongs to the national natural heritage. The stone from the inner Solar system fell on the African ground about 80 thousand years ago. However, the discovery came in 1920, when the owner of the land, Jacobus Hermanus Brits, encountered the object while ploughing one of his fields with an ox. During this task, he heard a loud metallic scratching sound and the plough came to an abrupt halt. First estimates talked about 85 tons of its weight, but due to many factors (including human intervention) cause the current weight is much lesser, about 60 tons. As the meteorite is flat (2.7×2.7×0.9 meters big) and composed of about 84% iron and 16% nickel, people love to stand on its surface. Actually, it s great experience, because if you stay on it in the middle of the small amphitheater, you can hear sound echoes of your voice. But probably the most amazing moment is in a time of standing on this cosmic intruder on the ground, and gazing the stars up above. You can literally feel how the civilization is fragile and, by breathing the air around, you thank to the nature for giving us the atmosphere, the protective shield against many other stones from the Earth's surrounding.
Technical Details: Canon 6D Baader IR modified, Samyang 24 mm, f2.8, ISO 10000, panorama mosaic of 31 shots each 15s."
Petr Horálek

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